With choker necklaces, platforms and Tamagotchis back in style, it’s easy to see that trends are cyclical. It’s only a matter of time before the next generation is listening to Miley Cyrus ironically and selling antique iPhone 6s on eBay.
For now, it’s interesting to look back on decades past and see how decor trends and common household items have changed overtime. It can be surprising to see the amount that’s changed — as well as the things that have stayed the same.
Check out the list below to see 17 items that will dredge up all your deepest, darkest 1990s memories. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Macintosh Plus computer
The Macintosh Plus computer was introduced as the third Macintosh model in 1986. The computer cost $2,599 and although it was discontinued in 1990, many households undoubtedly kept theirs throughout the 90s.
While inflatable furniture tends to conjure images of shelves full of Beanie Babies and the sound of Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time blasting through a stereo speaker, the trend actually began much earlier than the 90s. According to a Buzzfeed article, the trend really blew up (pun intended) in the 1960s when a designer named Quasar Khanh created inflatable vinyl furniture, which was shown at NYC’s MoMa and Paris’s the Louvre in the 1970s.
With its warm look, brass was all over traditional family homes in the 1990s. After a brief rest, the metal is now being revived to accessorize modern spaces: the way the metal tarnishes gives it an appealing, rustic look, and vintage thrifters are loving its nostalgic vibe, using it for everything from chandeliers to faucets once again.
All the talk of cellphones, computers and that crazy idea called the Internet during the 90s created a deep desire to be connected to nature that could seemingly only be fulfilled with busy floral chintz — and lots of it. While charming in hindsight, the trend often caused rooms to appear busy and overdone, especially when different floral patterns and colors converged.
Photo: Vintage Goodness
Rattan furniture was massive in the 1960s, made a comeback in the 1990s, and is now making a slight resurgence among bohemian-style homes, proving that trends do tend to come in waves (or, palm stems?). One way to tell the eras of rattan apart is that wicker was often painted white in the 1990s (something had to go with all that chintz!).
Photo: Jamie Lantzy/Flickr
Ch-ch-ch-chia! Everyone knows the familiar tune, and if you’re a 90s kid, chances are you had a green pal of your own during the decade. Surprisingly, Chia Pets aren’t patented and similar products have been made by other companies — although the name Chia Pet is trademarked by Joseph Enterprises, a San Francisco-based gadget company which also incidentally created the Clapper.
Geometric, pastel bedding
Geometric, abstract patterns in pastel colors scream 90s. Similar to the 1950s and 60s, the 1990s are often characterized by the trend of futurism and modernism, which can be detected in this bedspread from Urban Outfitters. The colorful patterns were often juxtaposed with minimalist white rooms, creating a spacey, modular look.
Glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars
In keeping with the space-age theme, 90s kids loved to look up at a ceiling full of glow-in-the-dark stars and ponder their existence. These stick-on sources of light are still in use today, but the 90s were high time for stellar home accessories.
Another uber-psychedelic home accessory that was most likely inspired by colorful 1960s aesthetics is the lava lamp. Similar to glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars, 90s kids loved lava lamps as an unconventional source of light because of their wacky, space age-y look.
Again, this abstract, albeit not everyday, stairwell and tiled floor is the perfect example of the unpredictable, colorful patterns that were so popular in the 90s. The pastel blue and teal hues in this room were also specifically characteristic of the era.
If Britney Spears with short, cropped hair and an even shorter crop top wasn’t your first clue that this photo was taken in the 90s, then the tacky beaded curtain should have tipped you off. The relaxed vibe the curtains give off fit in with the bohemian trend of the 1990s, which has now, unsurprisingly, also made a huge comeback.
Troll dolls were originally created in 1959 by Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam. The odd little toys experienced resurgences of popularity in the 1970s and the 1990s, ending up on beds and shelves with Beanie Babies and Furbies as neighbors. In 2013, Dreamworks announced that they had bought the company that makes the dolls and would be making a movie based on the dolls, which is set for release in 2016.
Celestial tapestries and/or blankets
Remember the celestial tapestry that was draped over the chair in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch? The colorful sun and moon mandala fit perfectly with the colorful, bohemian vibe of the 90s, and undoubtedly inspired at least a few tween bedroom makeovers.
Kitchens with white appliances and oak finishes
Photo: Brad Holt/Flickr
Light oak finishes and all-white appliances were pretty much the norm for kitchens of the 90s. After all, stainless steel appliances weren’t really introduced until the 2000s, and oak had the natural, countryside appeal many people were craving at the time. For proof of the style’s popularity, just check out the sets for various popular sitcoms from the era like Mad About You and Full House.
Photo: Olga Berrios/Flickr
The VHS, or Video Home System, was developed in Japan in the 1970s and quickly became the way in which many a 90s kid watched their favorite Disney movies. Sadly, the format was replaced by the DVD, or Digital Versatile Disc, format in 2000, and finally, as the story goes, by Netflix.
Bean bag chairs
The bean bag chair first emerged with a different name — sacco. In the 1960s, Italian designers Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini and Franco Teodoro wanted to create a piece of comfortable and form-fitting furniture, so they came up with a chair that consisted of a leather shell filled with styrofoam pellets. The chair was a hit, and today, you can still find bean bag chairs at most big box stores, including Ikea, which offers one that’s slightly more understated and chic than the colorful versions of the 90s.
Leafy wallpaper borders
Photo: Daniel Oines/Flickr
Vine wallpaper borders were another product of the desire to transform one’s home to a natural oasis during the technological revolution of the 1990s. The trend would later become the bane of existence for some DIY-obsessed homeowners looking to revamp their space — peeling off wallpaper is a notoriously gruelling task, and a tacky pattern doesn’t make it any easier! (The popcorn ceiling finish in this photo is also ultra-90s).